"But what is the use of a cipher message without the cipher?"
"Your native shrewdness, my dear Watson, that innate cunning which is the delight of your friends, would surely prevent you from inclosing cipher and message in the same envelope.
He came to me quite unexpectedly after I had actually addressed this envelope with the intention of sending you the key to the cipher. I was able to cover it up.
"Of course." I had picked up the original cipher message and was bending my brows over it.
The cipher message begins with a large 534, does it not?
"In the present case - indeed in all cases of secret writing - the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom.
The general use which may be made of the table is obvious - but, in this particular cipher, we shall only very partially require its aid.
Let us refer, for example, to the last instance but one, in which the combination ;48 occurs - not far from the end of the cipher. We know that the ; immediately ensuing is the commencement of a word, and, of the six characters succeeding this 'the,' we are cognizant of no less than five.
"Looking now, narrowly, through the cipher for combinations of known characters, we find, not very far from the beginning, this arrangement, 83(88, or egree, which, plainly, is the conclusion of the word 'degree,' and gives us another letter, d, represented by †.
I have said enough to convince you that ciphers of this nature are readily soluble, and to give you some insight into the rationale of their development.
There was a little one-horse town about three mile down the bend, and after dinner the duke said he had ciphered
out his idea about how to run in daylight without it being dangersome for Jim; so he allowed he would go down to the town and fix that thing.